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Saturday, February 18, 2017

The First Amendment And The Free Press

At his press conference earlier this week, President Trump lambasted much of the media.  His particular target was CNN which he called "very fake news".  Later the President sent a tweet in which he called some of the media the "enemies of America".  In response, a whole batch of media commentators and reporters had a massive meltdown.  Some of what they had to say includes these:  The President was attacking the First Amendment.  Freedom of the press is guaranteed.  It's un-American to call the media "enemies".  Trump has gone over the edge.

But is any of the media response valid?  Is any of it fair?  Let's take a look.

Let's start with the First Amendment.  Here is what that amendment says:

'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Nothing in the First Amendment guarantees that the media is free from criticism.  All it really says is that the federal government cannot pass a law curtailing the freedom of the press.  Even for some of the morons in the media, it should not be too difficult to realize that when President Trump called them dishonest or even "enemies" of America, those words do not rise to the level of a law.  All that happened is that the President expressed his opinion (one with which many people strongly agree.)  So, the argument that Trump was attacking the First Amendment is completely ridiculous.

So is it un-American to call the media a bunch of enemies of Americ a?  Do the media reporters and pundits have some sort of immunity to criticism?  And, if they do have that immunity, what is the source of that special right?  There's a simple answer here, but first let's remember a few salient points.  Many in the media have called the President some of these things:  1) a Nazi; 2) a fascist; 3)crazy; 4) stupid; 5) a narcissist; 6) dangerous; and many more nasty things.  The truth is that the First Amendment guarantee all Americans the right to respond to criticism of that sort.  President Trump has the absolute right to call the media dishonest, hate-filled, and the like.  That sort of debate is not un-American; it is the essence of what makes America free.

The media and its people enjoy no special immunity from criticism by the President or any other American.  The only thing that is new here is that President Trump, unlike some previous Republican presidents, is actually taking the media on and calling them out as the dishonest Democrat support group that they truly are.  The American people are the ones who get to decide who is right.  The media cannot continually slam Trump with BS stories which have little relation to the truth without themselves being called out as liars and cheats.  They can puff themselves up in their self-importance, but most people recognize that pomposity as nothing more than upset at being told the truth and, even worse, having the American people being told the truth about them.


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